How to Cite a Short Story: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024


Citing sources correctly is a cornerstone of academic and professional writing. Proper citation is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Staying away from Copyright infringement: By giving credit to unique creators, you regard protected innovation and stay away from counterfeiting.
  2. Validity: References loan believability to your work, showing that you have drawn in with applicable writing and examination.
  3. Research Trail: Legitimate references assist perusers with following the exploration way you followed, empowering them to find the first sources in the event that they wish to investigate further.

This guide centers explicitly around how to cite a short story. Perusers will gain proficiency with the fundamentals of various reference styles, grasp the parts of a brief tale reference, and see itemized models for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.


Understanding the Basics of Citation

What is a Citation?


A reference is a reference to a source from which data is drawn. It normally incorporates subtleties, for example, the writer’s name, title of the work, distribution date, and page numbers, permitting perusers to find the first source.


Different Citation Styles


Various citation styles exist, each with unique rules and formats. The major styles include:

  1. MLA (Modern Language Association: Regularly utilized in humanities, especially recorded as a hard copy on language and writing.
  2. APA (American Psychological Association): Liked in sociologies, zeroing in on creator date reference.
  3. Chicago/Turabian: Utilized in history and a few humanities, offering two frameworks: notes and book reference, and writer date.

When to Cite a Source

You must cite a source when:

  1. Quoting Directly: Utilizing the specific words from a source.
  2. Paraphrasing: Rehashing thoughts from a source in the most natural sounding way for you.
  3. Summarizing: Gathering the primary thoughts from a source.
  4. Utilizing Information: Introducing figures, insights, or different information from a source.

Citing both primary (original works) and secondary (analyses or interpretations) sources is essential to avoid plagiarism and give proper credit.

Components of a Citation for a Short Story


  • Single Author: Rundown the Author’s last name, trailed by their most memorable name.
  • Various Authors: Rundown all Authors as per the pattern in which they show up in the source.
  • Pseudonyms and Anonymous Works: Utilize the pen name gave; in the event that the work is mysterious, start the reference with the title.

Title of the Short Story

  • Referring to from a Compilation: Emphasize the title of the treasury or assortment where the brief tale shows up.

Title of the Anthology or Collection

  • Referring to from a Compilation: Emphasize the title of the treasury or assortment where the brief tale shows up.

Editor(s) of the Anthology

  • Role of Editors: Incorporate the proofreader’s name(s) went before by “altered by”.

Publication Information

  • Subtleties to Include: Distributer, distribution year, and page numbers where the brief tale shows up in the collection.


  • When to Include: Utilize Advanced Item Identifiers (DOI) and URLs for stories got to on the web. Guarantee joins are dynamic and accurately organized.

Citing a Short Story in MLA Style

MLA Format Basics

The MLA format is commonly used in humanities. Key features include:

  • Author’s name
  • Title of the short story in quotation marks
  • Title of the anthology in italics
  • Editor(s) of the anthology
  • Publisher
  • Publication year
  • Page numbers

In-Text Citations in MLA

In-text references in MLA design incorporate the creator’s last name and the page number. For instance: (Smith 45).


Smith, John. “The Amazing Short Story.” Great Short Stories, edited by Jane Doe, Penguin Books, 2023, pp. 45-58.

Citing a Short Story in APA Style

5.1 APA Format Basics

APA format, used in social sciences, emphasizes the author and date of publication. Key elements include:

  • Author’s name
  • Year of publication
  • Title of the short story
  • Title of the anthology
  • Editor(s)
  • Publisher
  • Page numbers
  • DOI or URL (if applicable)

In-Text Citations in APA

APA in-text references incorporate the creator’s last name and year of distribution. For instance: (Smith, 2023).


Smith, J. (2023). The amazing short story. In J. Doe (Ed.), Great short stories (pp. 45-58). Penguin Books.

Citing a Short Story in Chicago Style

Chicago Format Basics

Chicago style offers adaptability with two frameworks: notes and reference index, and creator date. This guide centers around the notes and reference index style.

Footnotes and Endnotes in Chicago

References or endnotes remember the full reference for the primary notice and an abbreviated variant from there on.


John Smith, “The Amazing Short Story,” in Great Short Stories, ed. Jane Doe (Penguin Books, 2023), 45-58.

    Bibliography Entry in Chicago


    Smith, John. “The Amazing Short Story.” In Great Short Stories, edited by Jane Doe, 45-58. Penguin Books, 2023.

    Special Cases in Citing Short Stories

    Unpublished works incorporate original copies, drafts, and individual correspondences. Design regularly remembers the title for quotes and a portrayal of the work.


    Smith, John. “The Unpublished Story.” Manuscript, 2023.

    Citing Short Stories from Online Sources

    For online sources, include the URL and access date if no DOI is available.


    Smith, John. “The Online Short Story.” Online Anthology, edited by Jane Doe, Penguin Books, 2023, pp. 45-58. Accessed June 22, 2024.

    Citing Translated Short Stories

    Include the translator’s name after the title.


    Smith, John. “The Amazing Short Story.” Translated by Jane Doe, in Great Short Stories, edited by Jane Doe, 45-58. Penguin Books, 2023.

    Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    Incorrect Formatting

    Avoid common formatting errors by double-checking citation style guidelines.

    Missing Information

    If certain information is missing, such as a publication date, use “n.d.” for “no date”.


    Smith, John. “The Amazing Short Story.” In Great Short Stories, edited by Jane Doe, n.d., pp. 45-58. Penguin Books.

    Over-Reliance on One Citation Style

    Adapt to the required citation style for different disciplines to ensure accuracy.

    Tools and Resources for Citation

    Citation Management Tools

    • EndNote
    • Zotero
    • RefWorks

    These tools help organize and format citations efficiently.

    Online Citation Generators

    Online devices like Reference Machine and EasyBib can create references yet ought to be utilized with wariness and twofold checked for precision.

    Style Guides and Manuals

    Allude to thorough style guides like the MLA Handbook, APA Distribution Manual, and The Chicago Manual of Style for point by point rules and models.


    We’ve covered the significance of legitimate reference, the essentials of various reference styles, explicit parts for refering to a brief tale, and itemized models in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles. We additionally tended to exceptional cases and normal missteps.

    • Remain Refreshed: Reference rules can change, so consistently utilize the most recent version of style guides.
    • Twofold Check: Survey your references for precision and culmination.
    • Use Apparatuses Shrewdly: Influence reference instruments however check the result.

    By becoming amazing at reference, you add to the honesty and believability of your scholar and expert composition.

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